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US Supreme Court Allows Sonar Use

samzenpus posted about 6 years ago | from the dolphin-earplugs dept.

The Courts 374

gollum123 writes "The US Supreme Court has removed restrictions on the Navy's use of sonar in training exercises near California. The ruling is a defeat for environmental groups who say the sonar can kill whales and other mammals. In its 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said the Navy needed to conduct realistic training exercises to respond to potential threats. The court did not deal with the merits of the claims put forward by the environmental groups. In reinstating the use of sonar, the top US court rejected a lower federal judge's injunction that had required the US Navy to take various precautions during submarine-hunting exercises. The Bush administration argued that there is little evidence of harm to marine life in more than 40 years of exercises off the California coast. It said that the judges should have deferred to the judgment of the Navy and Mr Bush. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said overall public interest was 'strongly in favor of the Navy.' 'The most serious possible injury would be harm to an unknown number of the marine mammals,' Chief Justice Roberts wrote. 'In contrast, forcing the Navy to deploy an inadequately trained anti-submarine force jeopardizes the safety of the fleet.'"

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i hate whales (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742023)

A couple weeks ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Barack Obama -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the secret service wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal democrat and had been on the Obama train since last year. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting him, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Barack Obama, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Barack Obama wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than listening to an Obama speech!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Barack Obama dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful democrat.

Shit, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742027)

This just after hearing that Obama plans to continue the hunt for "Bin Laden". Looks like nothing's changed for the better except for the now-low gas prices!

Re:Shit, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742981)

Don't worry. Once Obama reinstates the executive order preventing offshore drilling, oil speculators will double the price of oil again.

George Bush + Tan = Barack Obama

Dick Cheney + creepy smile + hair transplant = Joe Biden.

Navy's response. (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 years ago | (#25742029)

"Can you hear me now? Good!"

Re:Navy's response. (4, Informative)

dex22 (239643) | about 6 years ago | (#25742047)

I have the irrational need to stab you. Repeatedly. In the groinal area. Did I mention repeatedly?

Re:Navy's response. (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 years ago | (#25742235)

I have the irrational need to stab you. Repeatedly. In the groinal area. Did I mention repeatedly?

I disagree. Based on my post, the need is actually rational, not irrational.

Re:Navy's response. (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | about 6 years ago | (#25742283)

And the whale's response: "EH?"

Re:Navy's response. (3, Funny)

Kagura (843695) | about 6 years ago | (#25742549)

Well, they're now allowed to use SONAR in all operational environments for training purposes, provided they use one ping only.

ONE. Ping. Only.

Re:Navy's response. (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 6 years ago | (#25742695)

What's the point in having a machine that goes 'ping' if you can't use it properly?

Re:Navy's response. (3, Informative)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about 6 years ago | (#25742903)

no, to the whales this is like a F22 breaking the sound barrier 1000 foot above your house. [http://www.nrdc.org/wildlife/marine/sonar.asp] The sonar the Navy uses is extremely high powered and can cause hurt, just like a sonic boom of a jet smashing windows over land. If those were decibels in air 140 is illegal in public as it causes physical pain and permanent hearing loss, 235 db in air causes your ears to bleed... if they were doing this on the street (loud enough to be legally ban 100 miles away!) they'd be told to stop too. In open ocean there is room for animals to run away, on the shallow coast those animals can't go to deeper water to escape.

This is one of those cases where lazy engineers added "more power" until they're vastly overstepping what's reasonable, and the bosses damn anybody that asks for reason or to pay attention to what's going on around you. The navy is at sea, so they only have to follow rules of "civility" with their toys at port.... after all, they're just animals.

Re:Navy's response. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25743127)

Yeah, because detecting submarines carrying nuclear missiles isn't as important as saving the whales. I'm with you 100%, buddy.

Re:Navy's response. (4, Interesting)

RobertM1968 (951074) | about 6 years ago | (#25743179)

That's irrelevant. There are plenty of other places where testing can be done - place other than those we know that whales are frequently at.

The testing and training isnt at issue - the location was.

Just like the example cited above by the guy you responded to. Jets can fly reaaaally fast - but not at 1000 feet above a house while breaking the sound barrier.

Re:Navy's response. (4, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | about 6 years ago | (#25742331)

The whales will not take this lightly. You will definitely need the best navy you could get when they declare war.

Re:Navy's response. (2, Funny)

tyrione (134248) | about 6 years ago | (#25742759)

"Can you hear me now? Good!"

Whales: ``We fart in your general direction! Take that you human scumb!''

Tsunami sized fart bubble cripples sub, news at Eleven!

What? (5, Interesting)

CWRUisTakingMyMoney (939585) | about 6 years ago | (#25742035)

They didn't deal with the claims put forth by the environmentalists? Then what the hell DID they consider besides the Navy's side? (No, I didn't RTFO.)

Re:What? (0, Troll)

TFGeditor (737839) | about 6 years ago | (#25742113)

My guess is they considered the science, not the Chicken Little hyperbole.

Environmentalists (as opposed to conservationists) depend on emotional appeal rather than science and rational analysis to further their agenda. Ergo, the court rightly dismissed their claims for the bullshit that it is.
 

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

Mishotaki (957104) | about 6 years ago | (#25742257)

While the US government relies on the fear of an enemy threat to get as little opposition from the legal system as possible...

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

shma (863063) | about 6 years ago | (#25742289)

My guess is they considered the science, not the Chicken Little hyperbole.

Environmentalists (as opposed to conservationists) depend on emotional appeal rather than science and rational analysis to further their agenda. Ergo, the court rightly dismissed their claims for the bullshit that it is.

Maybe you should have tried applying some of that rationality by reading the actual article instead of, I don't know, making shit up.

In its 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said the navy needed to conduct realistic training exercises to respond to potential threats. The court did not deal with the merits of the claims put forward by the environmental groups. It said, rather, that federal courts abused their discretion by ordering the navy to limit sonar use in some cases and to turn it off altogether in others.

They didn't consider the science at all.

Re:What? (2, Insightful)

TFGeditor (737839) | about 6 years ago | (#25742365)

My guess is they considered the science, not the Chicken Little hyperbole.

Environmentalists (as opposed to conservationists) depend on emotional appeal rather than science and rational analysis to further their agenda. Ergo, the court rightly dismissed their claims for the bullshit that it is.

Maybe you should have tried applying some of that rationality by reading the actual article instead of, I don't know, making shit up.

In its 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said the navy needed to conduct realistic training exercises to respond to potential threats.

The court did not deal with the merits of the claims put forward by the environmental groups.

It said, rather, that federal courts abused their discretion by ordering the navy to limit sonar use in some cases and to turn it off altogether in others.

They didn't consider the science at all.

Didn't consider it, or didn't spell out their deliberations in the ruling?

Merits, addressed in deliberations and deemed irrelevant do not merit attention in the written ruling.

Re:What? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742391)

no offence, but how are you qualified to make such a judgement? From what I've read from people who are actually qualified to have an educated say, it's widely accepted that the sonar does cause extreme damage to the marine wildlife.

http://scienceblogs.com/deepseanews/2008/01/whales_are_part_of_the_axis_of.php

Re:What? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742487)

>My guess is they considered the science, not the Chicken Little hyperbole.

So how do you explain the mass beaching of whales on the coast of southern england this year which happened approximately 15 minutes after a massive sonar drill at one of their sub bases? Coincidence?

It's pretty difficult to determine "why" whales do such things. To scientifically link it on sonar would take massive studies, funding, and time.

However, to dismiss anecdotal evidence completely is TRULY unscientific. Show me a study that says whales are completely unharmed by sonar, I'll show you a well-funded government propagandist.

Lies, damn lies, statistics, and the MORONS who think they can KNOW anything all of the time.

And BTW, putting "ergo" in your post doesn't make you sound knowledgeable. Quite the contrary.

Re:What? (5, Interesting)

martinw89 (1229324) | about 6 years ago | (#25742537)

Environmentalists (as opposed to conservationists) depend on emotional appeal rather than science and rational analysis to further their agenda. Ergo, the court rightly dismissed their claims for the bullshit that it is.

Seriously? And this sentence isn't emotional appeal with a lack of science how?

Jepson et al. reporting in Nature has stated that there is a "generally accepted link between some beaked-whale strandings and sonar use" [1 [seaturtle.org] ]. More specifically, during a Spanish mid frequency sonar exercise 14 beaked-whales beached themselves. Spanish scientists autopsied 10 of the whales and all had damage similar to decompression sickness [2 [bbc.co.uk] ].

There is some science regarding this issue. To completely throw it out the window without consideration, calling it bullshit, is more emotionally driven than the environmentalists you accuse in your post.

And as a side point, what would emotionally charged environmentalists have to gain by stopping sonar exercises around whales?

Re:What? (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | about 6 years ago | (#25742811)

Great point. I remember hearing about some other tests of this new type of sonar and recall that the whales basically threw themselves out of the water as they had suffered hemorrhaging from their brains and hearing organs.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742871)

Yes... And last week it rained, and I was constipated. Therefore, rain causes constipation.

Oh yeah... Environmentalists are also dope smoking peacenicks. Therefore, they don't like the military, and since they don't have big boats, the only way to "hurt" what they don't like is to manipulate the courts.

Re:What? (-1, Troll)

Kohath (38547) | about 6 years ago | (#25742887)

Seriously? And this sentence isn't emotional appeal with a lack of science how?

Both of these questions are emotional and lack science.

... generally accepted link...

There's a sciency notion for you. I hear there's a "generally accepted link" between toads and warts too. Give me a PhD in ecology!

How "generally" does a "link" have to be "accepted" before it's irrefutable proof of cause and effect? Very, very generally indeed, I suppose.

And as a side point, what would emotionally charged environmentalists have to gain by stopping sonar exercises around whales?

Dead sailors and a weakened America. I'm sure that's enough for it to be worth it to them.

They'd also like to set a precedent where they speak for the animals and they can therefore control an arbitrarily large part of everyone's daily lives by deciding what we can do and what we can't. Then we can all go to them for their blessing with any planned project or action. They'll give us a yea or nay based on their unique bond with the animals. It's potentially very lucrative.

And the government will pay attorney's fees, which is good if you're an attorney. Then the attorneys can donate to the non-profit that brought the lawsuit. Everyone gets paid. Thanks whales!

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742957)

Dead sailors and a weakened America. I'm sure that's enough for it to be worth it to them.

Pure unadulterated bullshit, when was the last time sonar was used in battle by the US Navy against a foreign sub, which was subsequently attacked, WW2?

You are full of shit.

Re:What? (1)

grayshirtninja (1242690) | about 6 years ago | (#25743151)

That doesn't mean it can't happen again.

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

otopico (32364) | about 6 years ago | (#25743099)

Wow, questioning the patriotism of people with a different view than yours, wonder where you learned that?

Since you claim the environmentalists want dead sailors and a weakened America, please cite your proof, or are you just name calling because you have no other reason to hate them aside from the fact you hate them?

You can make make up all the shit you want, but unless you have proof of something, at least admit you're spouting shit.

Re:What? (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 6 years ago | (#25742885)

My guess is they considered the science, not the Chicken Little hyperbole.

Environmentalists (as opposed to conservationists) depend on emotional appeal rather than science and rational analysis to further their agenda. Ergo, the court rightly dismissed their claims for the bullshit that it is.

Not true. I'm an environmentalist, and I prefer science over emotion.

Generalize less, please.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25743041)

The most serious possible injury would be harm to an unknown number of the marine mammals," Chief Justice Roberts wrote. "In contrast, forcing the navy to deploy an inadequately trained anti-submarine force jeopardises the safety of the fleet.

It sounds to me like they considered the arguments of the Environmentalists and concluded that, even if SONAR was killing whales, they would rule in favor of the Navy. So no, they don't really have a reason to evaluate the accuracy claims of the environmentalists. In other words,

if(EnvironmentalistsSpeakTrue&&ProblemIsSufficientlySerious){ halt(SONAR);}

However, ProblemIsSufficientlySerious evaluated to false.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 6 years ago | (#25742123)

You need to consider more than one side of an argument if you are a supreme court judge?

That sounds positively un-american if you ask me. I was pretty sure it's just about following what te president wants? Abortion, defense, environment, all seems to be "Commander In Chief! Sir! Yes Sir!"

That's the view that I am getting from outside the US anyhow. No offense.

Re:What? (4, Informative)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | about 6 years ago | (#25742281)

Look up Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer, yo.

Or, for more recent examples:

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
Rasul v. Bush
Boumediene v. Bush

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742131)

Well Bush said it was ok, so it must be fine. He's never shown bad judgement before.

Re:What? (4, Informative)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#25742147)

I believe they were saying that the damage from the navy being unable to use the sonar was so much greater than the damage that the environmentalists were claiming that it doesn't matter. One of the chief responsibilities the government has is to protect its people, and without training on the sonar the government can't do that.

Re:What? (1, Flamebait)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 6 years ago | (#25742447)

One of the chief responsibilities the government has is to protect its people, and without training on the sonar the government can't do that.

Yes, because Al Queda is looking to bomb us using their fleet of submarines.

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | about 6 years ago | (#25742719)

China and Russia. We're going to have to do something once our credit rating gets updated [cnbc.com] and our economic inertia burns out.

It's not getting any better.

Future Threats (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742727)

There are other possible future threats in the world. It is a historical constant that hostile powers will come to exist in the world and will need to be dealt with.

Just because we don't immediately see it doesn't mean it won't become a problem in 20-30 years. Hell, in that time a lot can happen, we will be facing enemies in the future that cannot be forseen. While our current submarine fleet won't be so important then, the existence and continued development of our military has to be continued in order to be ready when they are needed.

A big part of this goes back to the heart of "environmentalism". Much of it is simply a disguise for anti-capitalism, anti-globalization, and quite frankly, anti-americanism. In the end the sonar thing is less about saving the whales, and more about sticking it to the US Military.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742471)

Brilliant analysis. Here's a cracker.

Re:What? (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 6 years ago | (#25742583)

That's not for the Supreme Court to decide. Their job is to decide whether a law is constitutional.

It is up to the legislature to decide how to balance freedom and national security by passing laws. Now, should the law be challenged on the basis of its constitutionality, then that's a different matter. If the environmentalists are challenging Bush's executive order privilege and how far Bush can go in the capacity of Command in Chief, that's yet a separate matter. But this doesn't seem to be the case. I don't hear any mention of any part of the constitution (perhaps because TFA is from the BBC?), so I'm wondering why this even made it up there.

The article is light on details, so I'm not sure if a law is being challenged here. But the part of my brain covered by a tinfoil hat is suspecting that Bush pulled some strings to get the SCotUS to even hear this case.

Re:What? (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | about 6 years ago | (#25742867)

Environmentalists must always challenge every one of Bush's decisions due to the fact he has always acted recklessly & irresponsibly, completely lacking in facts and information. Seat of the pants decision making without consideration of consequence.
This of course is a prime example of just how stupid this man really is.

Re:What? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742183)

Judges have quite a bit of discretion, and this is the US Supreme Court we're talking about. If they want to completely ignore one party's arguments, they're free to do so.

Re:What? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742455)

They considered whether or not the prior rulings (that were in the environmentalists favor) were made within the purview of the courts involved. Many Supreme Court decisions are made this way.

They didn't decide that the environmentalists were right or that the Navy was wrong, they simply said that the prior courts didn't have the right to tell the Navy what to do.

lol... (0, Flamebait)

ZekoMal (1404259) | about 6 years ago | (#25742037)

Yup, it's far more important that we get to work on improving our killing capabilities; who cares if it may or may not harm the environment, let's just wait and see 50 years down the road if any whale species get closer to extinction then they already are.

Just be confident that we'll be able to shoot at the next third world country that bugs us (or has a resource we might like), we'll be able to catch their submarines first! Well...if, y'know, anybody we war with ever uses subs again.

Re:lol... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742091)

A whale would kill you and your whole family if given the opportunity. Did I say "whale"? I meant "nigger".

Re:lol... (0, Troll)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 6 years ago | (#25742265)

Whales aren't an important physical resource; removing them would cause a short rebalance of the food chain, that's about it. We don't use whale oil to power ships anymore. Kind of like Galapagos turtles, except they have a real effect outside of one tiny island; the world will get along without them just as well, it's hard to kill or horribly maim the biosphere.

Re:lol... (4, Insightful)

tsm_sf (545316) | about 6 years ago | (#25742581)

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not...

We've already killed off most of the megafauna that existed on this planet. I want to keep what we have left.

((really.. were you being sarcastic? It'd be kind of hard to justify the existence of any living being based on that criteria. YOU certainly wouldn't escape the rendering plant.))

Re:lol... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742633)

why ? i mean really ... why ? all we need is their DNA to recreate at any time. we might as well kill off the useless animals who arent doing anthing to benefit us. if we need em - use their DNA to recreate em. its like data archiving. if you have a good backup, you can delete the original safely with no harm. rstore from backup if you need the data/species.
environmentalists always get in the way of progress.

Re:lol... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742987)

so, how are you going to get the resources to raise whales huh? got uteri for them as well?

Re:lol... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25743121)

Obviously, you haven't watched ST:IV

Third world (0)

Quila (201335) | about 6 years ago | (#25742273)

Just be confident that we'll be able to shoot at the next third world country that bugs us

Yeah, third-world countries tend to have quiet submarines that our sailors would need to be ready for.

But even if it's against a real threat, it's obvious some put the lives of whales over the lives of our sailors. In fact I noticed that the far-whacko environmentalists are more anti-human than pro-animal. That's a lot of self-loathing there.

Re:Third world (1, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 years ago | (#25742315)

Yeah, third-world countries tend to have quiet submarines that our sailors would need to be ready for.

Third World countries don't often have submarines. When they do, they're diesel submarines. Which tend to be quieter than nuclear submarines. And smaller. And harder to detect.

Diesels (1)

Quila (201335) | about 6 years ago | (#25742953)

There's old Russian and Chinese diesels that they might have, and they're loud. But some of the modern German designs are almost impossible to passively detect.

Re:Third world (4, Insightful)

theguru (70699) | about 6 years ago | (#25742333)

China has plenty of subs, and I promise you they don't give a crap about whales.

Re:Third world (4, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | about 6 years ago | (#25742925)

Despite China maneuvering itself into third-world status for the purposes of the Kyoto Treaty, China isn't third-world. By definition, I don't think you can consider one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to be third-world.

But, yes, they aren't exactly hampered by lawsuits or demonstrations when they want to conduct military training.

Re:Third world (4, Insightful)

theguru (70699) | about 6 years ago | (#25743113)

Of course they aren't, that isn't the point. The point is, they have a significant naval presence in the Pacific, and are more than enough reason to conduct sonar training exercises there.

Re:Third world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25743199)

Honestly, ours subs finding enemy subs are more important than a few dead whales. That said, using sonar at FULL BLAST doesn't improve our sub operators skill, it harms it. Frankly, better training would be to use limited power pulses.

For the car analogy, it's like saving 3/4/5/6th gear for the straight away of the real race. Or for the over clockers out there, saving your florinert and liquid nitrogen for the overclock challenge instead of using it day in and day out to watch youtube.

Of course they aren't, that isn't the point. The point is, they have a significant naval presence in the Pacific, and are more than enough reason to conduct sonar training exercises there.

Re:Third world (1)

grayshirtninja (1242690) | about 6 years ago | (#25743159)

If I was a Chinese admiral, I'd be looking into ways to harness whales to tow my subs towards the American coast right about now.

Re:Third world (2, Insightful)

ZekoMal (1404259) | about 6 years ago | (#25742363)

True, and I ain't a hippie by a long shot, but it kills me that military advancement is always considered more important then environmental impact. Yeah it's a couple whales, who cares so long as our military is more stream lined.

I'm not pro-animal; I'm just anti-human superiority complex. For all we know, killing off all the whales could result in their food overpopulating, and so on and so forth. Of course, we won't know until we try, so let's go ahead and try so we can see just what kind of impact it would have.

Buuut if we're gonna go down the route of importance of lives, I would guess that deciding that the lives of these sailors, who are trained to kill people, are more important than the people we are training them to kill (whichever people they may be when the politicians sign the bill and write the check).

War is as pointless as the people that push for it. I'd say, you can't be pro-life if you are pro-war; war kills people, and as soon as you sign your life away or support it, you are saying that murdering people is important enough that you are willing to do whatever it takes to do it (and don't get me wrong, if someone shoots us, we should shoot right back, but it's a shame that us 'advanced humans' can't even manage to live on different continents without wanting to kill each other).

Re:Third world (4, Insightful)

mudetroit (855132) | about 6 years ago | (#25742663)

A very noble thought indeed, but unfortunately not liking war isn't the same as not understanding there are times for it, and preparing yourself for other countries which may not believe the same way.

Additionally, you have to remember that as far as our country's military leaders are concerned the people who choose to enlist in our military are more important than those who they may have to fight against.

Re:Third world (1)

Cadallin (863437) | about 6 years ago | (#25742675)

Indeed. At this point it looks like we're aiming for a clean sweep of Phylum Chordata in a "there can be only one" sorta fashion.

Re:Third world (1)

Quila (201335) | about 6 years ago | (#25742891)

t it kills me that military advancement is always considered more important then environmental impact

It isn't. Every military installation has a strong environmental office. Expensive cleanups are commonplace, and there is training to avoid the contamination in the first place. Combat training even gets scheduled around the habits of endangered species on the post.

Having been in a war, I'm definitely not pro-war. If you think war sucks, try being in one, it sucks even worse up close. But I definitely believe in saving the lives of our troops through proper training should war be necessary. We can only hope that an appropriate balance between environment and training is struck, and that unnecessary wars aren't entered into. We can vote out presidents who we don't think make that balance. We had that chance in 2004, but we blew it.

Take that, hippies (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742043)

The president may be changing soon but the current one has stacked the Supreme Court with Justices that will uphold his views and policies for quite a while.

Re:Take that, hippies (4, Funny)

smussman (1160103) | about 6 years ago | (#25742631)

Yes, and the new President, in an effort to be fair and to change, will only appoint middle-of-the-road, unbiased-as-possible judges.~

Re:Take that, hippies (2, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | about 6 years ago | (#25742875)

5 to 4 is stacked?!?!

And as soon as a spot opens, you don't think Obama will try and stack it either?

I dislike both the Democratic and Republican parties...If left to their own devices, each would destroy this country in a different way, either by overregulating it untill all the businesses leave or by being arrogant and pissing the entire rest of the world off. With the significant majorities in the House and Senate, the Supreme Court may be the only thing that stops this country from completely fucking itself up. They need eachother to kill off the stupid far left and far right ideas, so we get the moderate view that benefits most of the country.

Re:Take that, hippies (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | about 6 years ago | (#25743003)

Actually Obama should get at least three appointments, assuming he gets two terms. Expect them to be on the young side and fairly liberal-minded.

Business as ussual (4, Insightful)

St. Alfonzo (1393181) | about 6 years ago | (#25742059)

"The most serious possible injury would be harm to an unknown number of the marine mammals," Chief Justice Roberts wrote. "In contrast, forcing the navy to deploy an inadequately trained anti-submarine force jeopardises the safety of the fleet."

Caution be-damned in the name of the national defense.

What are they thinking? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742077)

Chief Justice John Roberts said overall public interest was 'strongly in favour of the navy.' 'The most serious possible injury would be harm to an unknown number of the marine mammals,' Chief Justice Roberts wrote. 'In contrast, forcing the navy to deploy an inadequately trained anti-submarine force jeopardises the safety of the fleet.'"

Fools. Have they not seen Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home?

Little evidence my ass (3, Interesting)

esocid (946821) | about 6 years ago | (#25742087)

The Navy has even admitted that active sonar is harmful and results in deaths of marine mammals, but like with the EPA, investigations with facts harmful to the administration's opinions are erased [washingtonpost.com] .

Re:Little evidence my ass (5, Informative)

usul294 (1163169) | about 6 years ago | (#25742335)

Thats why they put microphones in the water with a marine biologist listening constantly during testing and another on the bridge with binoculars looking for whales. Its why they observe a half hour before starting a sequence as standard procedure to make sure there are no marine mammals. They do what has to be done to ensure that there is nothing that can be harmed by the sonar in the vicinity.

Re:Little evidence my ass (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about 6 years ago | (#25742997)

how about test it on underwater divers... they signed up and it's safe for whales. We could try supreme court justices (with out air tanks though that might skew results)

What kind of device potentially damages animals in a 50 mile radius? Really think about that, this would be equivalent to allowing sonic booms at 1000 feet altitude near cities... and to heck with the broken glass and ear drums. The army has nothing that invasive, the air force has nukes or days of carpet bombing and supersonic aircraft, but they pick the same spots to train where there is minimal wildlife to harm and reuse it over and over.

I'm sure this is just a case of "boys with toys" making things bigger and louder because they can and pulling rank when asked to tone it down.

Fuck the Whales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742155)

"Walk softly but carry a big stick."

I'm not putting away the stick for the fucking whales. They can die. k thx bai :)

Re:Fuck the Whales (2, Insightful)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | about 6 years ago | (#25742353)

You're certainly entitled to your opinion, no matter how ill-informed it may be. You could, however, at least have gotten the quote [wikipedia.org] right: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."

I wonder if you will stand by your words (5, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | about 6 years ago | (#25742493)

When the "fucking whales" go mad from all the pinging and start tipping over boats. Full of babies. American babies. Who will have white skin. All of them.
Or when they start humping US submarines thus giving away their position when those evil terrorist Al-Qaeda submarines come along.

And haven't you seen that documentary earlier this year? It was in all theaters.
You don't fuck with the big underwater creatures.
Or they will come out, rip off the head off of the Statue of Liberty, rape it, and throw it in the middle of Manhattan.

Cause that is what happens when you fuck a whale in the ass, Larry.

Hey, Supreme Court, you forgot to apply a law! (-1)

mothlos (832302) | about 6 years ago | (#25742165)

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

In case you don't recognize it, it is located at the beginning of article I of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Re:Hey, Supreme Court, you forgot to apply a law! (1)

SoapBox17 (1020345) | about 6 years ago | (#25742293)

From The U.S. Constitution, Article III [findlaw.com] , Section 2 (emphasis added):

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

Re:Hey, Supreme Court, you forgot to apply a law! (1)

mothlos (832302) | about 6 years ago | (#25743193)

Oh, thanks for pointing out that the Supreme Court has the right to interpret anything any way they want without review or consequence and as such we should all blindly reserve any negative criticism we may have regarding their decisions I had nearly forgotten that those with the authority to make decisions should be revered absolutely when they do.

Found it! (0)

Quila (201335) | about 6 years ago | (#25742309)

Article II, Section 2:

"The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States..."

I would say this is purely an executive matter unless Congress says it's not going to fund such training exercises.

Re:Found it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742459)

Except the judges and congress have now almost completely neutered the current and future president in this regard.

Re:Found it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742923)

What about the birdies?

Re:Hey, Supreme Court, you forgot to apply a law! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742345)

The US is one of the few countries with a common law system, the actual meaning of laws is what the courts interpret them to be. For better or worse, that is the system.

What a crock. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742181)

Put John Roberts in a wetsuit, drop him in the pacific, and ping his ass until his ears run red.

Its ok... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742191)

Supreme Court: It's ok, it'll grow back.

Let the wolves decide whether to eat the sheep (4, Interesting)

steelfood (895457) | about 6 years ago | (#25742199)

I don't think the Navy as a government organization or the president have anything relevant to say in the matter. It is what the marine biologists and the science they do says. If their science says that such operations definitely harm marine mammals, then the Navy should be required to take certain precautions before doing their exercises. If there is no conclusive evidence, or if the evidence is circumstantial at best, then there's no reason to stop the Navy from doing their thing until such evidence is found.

Now, if the evidence was indeed that strong, maybe PETA or some other animal rights group can and should bring suit against the Navy for harming the animals. If indeed the evidence is that strong, then this ruling is meaningless (the Supreme court didn't comment on the environmentalist's stance, which leaves the door wide open for more lawsuits). But until that time that the evidence really becomes that strong, I'm not sure national security should be jeopardized for the sake of a hunch or even an educated guess.

Re:Let the wolves decide whether to eat the sheep (5, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | about 6 years ago | (#25742627)

Hey - I'm all for protecting the enviornment. However, it certainly isn't the ONLY consideration in a case like this. I don't think that anything could be worse for the enviornment than hundreds of nuclear ballistic missles, and yet I certainly sleep better knowing that they're present as a deterrant against a nuclear attack.

Yes, we ought to care for the planet we live on, and that includes its ecosystems. It is in our own interest, and it also is generally the right thing to do. However, when the interests of humans collide with the interests of animals, you need to be realistic. A navy that is inadequate for the task of defending US interests encourages an attack upon those interests. Some have implied that submarines are unnecessary in the modern world - nothing could be further from the truth. However, a perfect army is one that never needs to fight a battle. When you have the perfect army then nobody messes with you in the first place. That doesn't mean that we should go around picking fights - but it is not in the interests of the US to fall behind either.

Re:Let the wolves decide whether to eat the sheep (1)

CarbonShell (1313583) | about 6 years ago | (#25742917)

Strange because it is the US that constantly is at war with one country or another.

Re:Let the wolves decide whether to eat the sheep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742677)

But until that time that the evidence really becomes that strong, I'm not sure national security should be jeopardized for the sake of a hunch or even an educated guess.

What about a fact? Suppose it turns out that sonar causes whales to EXPLODE. Will you then give up your navy?

Please make sure to let me know, so I can have MY navy standing by to blast the crap out of your coastal cities.

New business opportunity..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742231)

Hearing aids for Whales.

Why the supreme court might have seemed one sided. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742237)

Well environmentalists don't have facts, they have feelings and emotional appeal. As opposed to conservationists. Therefore, it was hard for SCOTUS to review their side, if they don't have any facts to put forth.

insurgents with submarines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742267)

quick question... when was the last time we fought a war against anyone with submarines?

Re:insurgents with submarines? (2, Interesting)

Dryesias (1326115) | about 6 years ago | (#25742319)

Well, the Cold War was relatively recent, nothing was really "fought" so to speak, but submarines were a big deal, a constant threat.

It was actually 6-3 (or 5-1-1-2) (4, Informative)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | about 6 years ago | (#25742325)

Breyer wrote an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. He agreed that the district court failed to follow the law when it imposed the two restrictions at issue on the Navy's sonar testing pending completion of the environmental impact statement. In this portion of his opinion, he agreed with the Navy. In the second part of his opinion, he disagreed that the proper response was to get rid of the two conditions.

Stevens concurred in the first part of Breyer's decision and did not join the second part. In other words, he concurred in the judgment of the Court. In total, seven justices agreed with the Navy's position that the district court's order was not in accord with the law.

Europeans: this is why you shouldn't federalize (0, Offtopic)

schwaang (667808) | about 6 years ago | (#25742347)

When the United States was founded, the states had significant powers unto themselves. No longer. Now individual states' laws are frequently and intentionally trumped by Federal laws written to make things convenient for whomever pays the most lobbyists in Washington D.C., or whatever ideology is in vogue (if only by a 5-4 vote).

Europe, the further you go down the road towards unification, the more you're going to see the same bullshit happen to you. In the name of some kind of "greater good", laws that you decide for yourselves will be swept aside by an inevitably corrupt and ever less democratic center of power.

Just thought you should know.

Re:Europeans: this is why you shouldn't federalize (1)

mudetroit (855132) | about 6 years ago | (#25742755)

Umm... this isn't a lobbyist getting a federal law to overrule a state law. This is a national defense issue, whether you agree with the decision or not, and should be decided on the federal level.

Depth charges and torpedoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25742377)

The Navy uses whales to simulate submarine hunting.

It is not the SONAR that injures the whales. It is the ordnance.

Hypocrisy! (0, Troll)

philspear (1142299) | about 6 years ago | (#25742397)

The supreme court and president say sonar is needed and won't be that bad for the whales, but everytime I try to set up a machine to make "ping" noises in the white house or homes of the justices, they have their secret service details tackle me and arrest me, then the police charge me with trespassing, indecent exposure, or some other mumbo jumbo.

Government hypocrisy at its finest I tell you!

Not even manned half the time (0)

El_Ehmenopio (701830) | about 6 years ago | (#25742491)

The sad part, is that surface sonar systems are not even manned half the time, and when they are, modern submairnes int he deep sound channel just run rings around them.

Similar test (3, Funny)

tuxgeek (872962) | about 6 years ago | (#25742745)

A very similar test to simulate what this high powered sonar would sound like to someone under water, for Bush and the crypt keepers on the supreme court.
Stick their heads inside a 55 gallon drum and blast Metalica in the other end @ 400 db.

Re:Similar test (4, Funny)

rob1980 (941751) | about 6 years ago | (#25743107)

That depends, are we talking new Metallica or old Metallica?

Re:Similar test (1)

dnwq (910646) | about 6 years ago | (#25743161)

Stick their heads inside a 55 gallon drum and blast Metalica in the other end @ 400 db.

From CNN:

But environmentalists say that the sonar can hurt whales much farther than 1,000 meters away and that the noise created by the sonar "was like having a jet engine in the Supreme Court multiplied 2,000 times, compensating for water," attorney Richard Kendall told the justices.

Jet engine at 30m is 150 dB [wikipedia.org] . So you need to go beyond 400 dB ;)

A sailor chimes in.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25743053)

I routinely spend large amounts of time at sea for the US Navy. The ship I am on doesn't have active sonar, but:
  - We have a OS(W)or AB(W) topside at all times watching when we are underway watching for whales. The whale has the right of way.
  - We're not allowed to intentionally encroach within 1km to a whale. Dolphins and similar are fast moving/smart enough to think we might eat them. Most whales appear to think we are a really big whale and seem to like coming over to visit.
  - If our direction of travel is blocked by a whale, we must either steer to avoid or perform a rather unloved manuveur known as a 'crash stop'.
  - If we are operating with another ship we must abort operations if a whale enters the area.

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